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Customer perception of switch-feel in luxury sports utility vehicles

By Tom Wellings, M. A. (Mark A.) Williams and Matthew J. Pitts


Successful new product introduction requires that product characteristics relate to the customer on functional, emotional, aesthetic and cultural levels. As a part of research into automotive human machine interfaces (HMI), this paper describes holistic customer research carried out to investigate how the haptics of switches in luxury sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are perceived by customers. The application of these techniques, including an initial proposal for objective specifications, is addressed within the broader new product introduction context, and benefits described.\ud \ud One-hundred and one customers of SUVs assessed the feel of automotive push switches, completing the tasks both in, and out of vehicles to investigate the effect of context. Using the semantic differential technique, hedonic testing, and content analysis of customers’ verbatim comments, a holistic picture has been built up of what influences the haptic experience. It was found that customers were able to partially discriminate differences in switch-feel, alongside considerations of visual appearance, image, and usability. Three factors named ‘Affective’, ‘Robustness and Precision’, and ‘Silkiness’ explained 61% of the variance in a principle components analysis. Correlations of the factors with acceptance scores were 0.505, 0.371, and 0.168, respectively

Topics: HM, TA, TJ
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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